Who are Rey's parents in Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker?

Daisy Phillipson
Photo credit: Lucasfilm

From Digital Spy

Who are Rey's parents? It's a question that's baffled Star Wars fans ever since the 2015 release of The Force Awakens.

Okay, so The Last Jedi did give us an answer – that they were nobodies who abandoned their child on Jakku for drinking money. But given the franchise's propensity for shocking twists, and that these words were uttered by the untrustworthy Kylo Ren, there's every chance that the mystery of Rey's parentage remains unsolved.

Photo credit: Disney

Which is why fans have been busy at work speculating the hell out of who they could be in the run-up to the release of JJ Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which will (hopefully) settle the debate once and for all as it wraps up the narrative started by The Force Awakens.

A rumour currently being pulled apart by the fandom is that Rey is the result of an affair Han Solo had while Leia was off training with Luke.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Sorry Star Wars theorists, these Last Jedi revelations are here to stay

Jason Ward of the Making Star Wars podcast emphasised that this is definitely a rumour, not a leak, but suggests: "Rey is Han Solo's daughter. But she is not Leia Organa's daughter – and therefore is not a Skywalker… Leia and Han were estranged when she began training with Luke. When she did not complete that training she returned to Han, but Ben Solo knew of the affair (although not necessarily about Rey), and began acting out, and this was when he was sent to Luke."

This would certainly explain why Rey and Kylo have a connection, as this would make them half-siblings, and it would also explain why Han seems like a father figure to her in The Force Awakens. Nevertheless, many of the fans were left outraged by the theory.

"Making a dead Han Solo be involved in an affair during his relationship with the woman he's loved for god knows how long? An affair that results in the creation of our main character? Sounds like a pretty bad thing to do imo," commented one angry Redditor.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

Plus, with Han gone for good, he wouldn't even get a chance to redeem himself or explain the timeline, thus destroying decades of work to build the character as the honourable rebel he is.

Then there's the theory that Rey is Luke Skywalker's daughter, which was fuelled by the release of Episode IX's title. Even actor Mark Hamill got involved with stirring the pot, tweeting: "Is REY a Skywalker?"

Again, this would explain the connection between Rey and Kylo (they'd be cousins) while also clarifying why the Jedi trainee is a natural pilot and Force user, and why Luke's lightsaber calls out to her in The Force Awakens.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

A lot of people are having none of this theory, though, dismissing it as too obvious a reveal for the franchise. And the title doesn't have to be so literal – it could just be that the Skywalker mantle is passed down to Rey to continue Luke's journey as the hero of the next generation.

On another side of the galaxy, there's the whole "Rey is a Kenobi" idea. The theory goes that, during the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, while in hiding Obi-Wan got down with a mystery woman and became part of Rey's lineage, either as her father or her grandfather, depending on how the timelines match up.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

It's unlikely she's his daughter, sure, but there is some evidence suggesting the two are linked somehow. Firstly, there's Rey's vision in The Force Awakens where Abrams went out of his way to make sure both Obi-Wan actors (Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness) can be heard. Then there's their similar fashion choices, not to mention the Jedi mind trick Rey uses that appears to echo the one used by Obi-Wan.

However, the reason a lot of fandom members don't buy this idea is that 1) there's not even a hint as to who could be the mother and 2) surely Obi-Wan wouldn't betray his Jedi code to have a baby. That said, if this far-fetched narrative did come into play beyond Episode IX, Ewan McGregor would be there with bells on – he's been dying to reprise his role as the Jedi master for years.

The last theory we're going to dwell on is the unlikely outcome that Rey is the granddaughter of Palpatine. Ahem. Yes, we heard his menacing laugh at the end of the trailer, but even before that, some people speculated her name meaning "king" in Spanish means she is genetically linked to the evil Emperor. It's an unconvincing thesis, although it certainly would give us a twist we're yet to see in the franchise.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm

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Or, The Rise of Skywalker might throw us the biggest curveball of all: no twist. You never know, maybe Kylo was telling the truth and Rey's parents really are nobodies. It'd make for an unsatisfying payoff, sure, particularly since her family tree has been baited since she first came into our cinematic lives.

Either way, all will be revealed when the film hits theatres later this year. Until then, sit tight, Padawans.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on Thursday, December 19 in the UK and Friday, December 20 in the US.

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